Contributed to EO by Eden Gillott, who’s president of Gillott Communications, a strategic communications and disaster PR agency. She’s the writer of A Enterprise Proprietor’s Information to Disaster PR: Defending You & Your Enterprise’ Fame, an EO Los Angeles member, and that chapter’s Accelerator co-chair.
We requested Eden concerning the similarities between entrepreneurship and disaster public relations. Right here’s what she shared:
1. You’re a small share of the inhabitants.
As an EO member and entrepreneur, it’s straightforward to overlook that most individuals don’t personal companies. In keeping with Verne Harnish in Scaling Up, “There are roughly 28 million companies within the US, of which solely 4 p.c ever attain greater than US$1 million in income.” It’s why the EO Accelerator programme trainers at all times remind EO members and Accelerator individuals within the room that we’re respiration uncommon air. Equally, Disaster PR is very specialised on the earth of public relations.
Just lately, I went to a going-away celebration for a Fortune 10 firm worker. The group was complaining about their numerous bosses, an upcoming reorg they felt was dealt with poorly, and the breakdown in how firm expectations for his or her departments have been being communicated.
The discussions at that going-away celebration are the kind of issues that I, as a disaster supervisor, attempt by no means to have occur within the first place. I work to minimize brand damage when disgruntled employees stir the pot. It’s all about managing perceptions. If workers are sad about how issues are dealt with or communicated, it’s on us as firm leaders and disaster managers to repair it.
2. You don’t shrink back from threat.
As an entrepreneur, you step as much as do issues most individuals gained’t.
And generally, working your small business can really feel such as you’re managing a brand new disaster every day. Or, like many entrepreneurs in EO, you personal a number of firms, which suggests your life seems like organized chaos.
Disaster PR isn’t about enjoying it secure. It’s about doing the issues most individuals are uncomfortable doing. Disaster managers reside for the adrenaline rush of charging full speed ahead into a crisis.
3. You’re a group participant.
We didn’t get our companies to the place they’re by working alone. Our group sizes fluctuate from a number of workers and companions in the identical metropolis to 1000’s unfold throughout the globe. We all know we’re higher collectively.
Even the statements you see throughout a disaster are a group effort. The communications that come out should not created in a vacuum. Paragraphs are blended, quotes and commentary are integrated, and authorized is at all times consulted earlier than something is uttered or printed.
4. You’re nice at recognizing traits.
When you’re glorious at recognizing traits, you additionally know that what labored in a single scenario could not essentially work in one other.
Every scenario is exclusive, which is why you’ll hear me say, “This sounds similar to different shoppers we’ve labored with.” However I’ll by no means describe it as “precisely,” “an identical,” or “similar to” something I’ve dealt with prior to now. You study from expertise, however solely a lot.
5. You struggle to protect your time.
“Maintain on. I have to go deal with one thing.”
You slip out of your seat at dinner to take an essential cellphone name. You peel away from a celebration to ship an electronic mail (even when it’s to delegate the disaster to another person).
Crises aren’t any respecters of time. They don’t care if it’s a weekend or in case you’re at a particular occasion. For each entrepreneurs and Disaster PR managers, time boundaries are sometimes blurred or nonexistent.
6. You are taking data and apply it.
As entrepreneurs, we’re always studying and figuratively downloading into our brains the brand new traits and ideas to use to our companies. We all know there’s a distinction between the long-lasting scene in The Matrix when Neo confidently says, “I do know kung fu,” and making use of what he discovered to win in opposition to Morpheus. Neo nonetheless wanted the hands-on expertise (no pun meant).
Equally, seasoned disaster managers have what seems like a terabyte of eventualities and playbooks saved of their heads. The compounding results from the unending parade of attainable variables empower us to sort out a disaster head-on and make it look straightforward.